NM Agriculture in the Classroom
Imagine a world without shampoo, lotion, and makeup. Imagine a world without clothes, food, cars, and cell phones. None of these things would be possible without the agricultural industry, notes New Mexico Agriculture in the Classroom (NMAITC), a non-profit educational outreach program funded primarily by the membership of the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau.
NMAITC is dedicated to educating the general public, with an emphasis on K-12 students and educators, about the importance of agriculture education and the role it plays in our everyday lives. “It would be awesome if every person understood what a day without agriculture would look like and how important and responsible our agriculture industry is,” notes Cheryl Butterfield, northern region director for the program. “Agriculture is every day—we can’t live without it.”
Luckily for us Las Crucens, we live in one of the most diverse and thriving agricultural areas in the state. With resources like the Farm & Ranch Museum, the Mesilla Valley Maze, and the NM Department of Agriculture, there is ample opportunity to explore this fascinating sector that impacts everyone on a daily basis.
“NMAITC’s job is to help open eyes to the world of agriculture all around us,” explains Southern Region Director Traci Curry. “We help students that are good at problem solving develop an interest in the agriculture sciences and show educators how they can incorporate agricultural lessons that tie into their curriculum and align to the Common Core and NM Standards and Benchmarks. We do this by offering free classroom presentations, teacher workshops and training, awards, grants, and access to hundreds of free lessons and companion resources via the curriculum matrix.”
One of the organization’s biggest programs is the New Mexico Agriculture Literacy project that partners with FFA chapters across the state to bring an ag-related book and activity project to classrooms in their own communities. In Doña Ana County, NMAITC has partnered with Las Cruces Public Schools and the Mesilla Valley Cowbelles for an art contest, and with the members of the Doña Ana County Farm Bureau for a free bus program for the Southern NM State Fair AGventure Days program.
Traci says, “The biggest impact that NMAITC hopes to have is that more people fully understand the importance that agriculture plays in their lives and that we sow the seeds for future generations to continue to produce the food, fiber, and fuel that New Mexicans enjoy and rely on each day.”
“NMAITC’s job is to help open eyes to the world of agriculture all around us.”
Photo courtesy NMAITC
“NMAITC has free resources to help teachers!” Cheryl says. “We offer lessons that are Common Core linked and relevant to students.” Try out this popular, autumn-inspired activity and visit newmexico.agclassroom.org for more fun ideas.
Ingredients for 25 Students:
• One gallon zip freezer bag
• 22/3 cup cold milk
• 2 Packages (four serving size)
instant vanilla pudding mix
• One can (15 ounces) solid-pack pure pumpkin
• One teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• Graham cracker crumbs
• 25 small cups
• One can whipped topping
• 25 spoons
Ingredients for 2 Students:
• Quart-size zip freezer bags
• 1/8 cup milk
• 2T canned pumpkin
• Dash cinnamon
• Dash ginger
• 1 T pudding mix*
• Tart-sized premade graham cracker crusts
or ginger snaps
* The mix should have the consistency of pudding. If it is too runny, add pudding mix. If it is too thick, add milk.
1. Combinte the milk and instant pudding in the bag.
2. Remove the air from the bag and seal it.
3. Squeeze and knead with hands until the mixture is blended–about one minute.
4. Add the pumpking, cinnamon and ginger.
5. Remove the air, and seal the bag.
6. Squeeze and knead with hands until blended–about two minutes.
7. Place 1/2 tablespoon of graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of the small cups.
8. Cut the corner of the gallon freezer bag, and squeeze pie filling into the cups
9. Garnish the cups with whipped topping.
10. Provide spoons. Enjoy.
For Printable pie-in-a-bag recipes, go here.
Parent and Teacher Education Resources:
This organization is all about one thing: making change happen for the greater good. In fact, their motto is: “We engage community to make change happen.” Ngage works with everyone from business leaders to students to support the Success Partnership and to provide leadership and capacity building resources for community organizations. Since 2013, the organization has provided workshops and resources on strategic planning, board development, and social enterprise. One of their primary focuses is on improving education outcomes in Doña Ana County.
For links to resources and upcoming events and workshops, visit ngagenm.org.
The SUCCESS Partnership is committed to working collectively with every person in Doña Ana County towards a community agenda to support all children’s success in school and life, from prenatal to career. Their Early Childhood Education (ECE) Coalition is comprised of organizations that embody similar interests, missions, and goals for families they serve daily, including LCPS Head Start, Ben Archer Health Center, MECA Therapies, La Clinica de Familia, the New Mexico Department of Health, midwives, Aprendamos Intervention Team, Conscious Fathering, and others. The intention of the coalition is to connect experts in the ECE and child health service fields who can direct parents and their children (ages 0-8) toward proper educational and healthcare services. The objective is to create a fully-integrated system comprised of various childcare programs and leading health professionals. Turn to page ## to see one of the projects their involved in, bringing a children’s museum right here to the Mesilla Valley. Learn more at successdac.org.
Where to Get Your School Swag
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Show your school pride in a way that truly makes a difference. Every time you swipe one of these debit cards, Citizens donates to the school—at no additional cost to the cardholder.